Friday, February 11, 2005

Shortcomings of being carbon-based

Artificial Intelligence and other science exploits celebrate the currently unknowable, non-understandable parts of humans like those parts that make consciousness, universal problem solving capability and emotion, probably mainly since they are given undue importance because they aren't understood yet.

But humans are also still weak and inconsistent and indulge in reptilian brain emotions and unhealthy short-term behaviors at the expense of long-term goals. We see it everywhere, maybe especially internally in our own self. At the national level, the currently proposed revisions to social security accounts seem to magnify this human weakness, with the accounts, if not mandatory, likely going under-unused just like health insurance. Current retirement account participations are already low, and 17% of the country elects to be uninsured when given the choice, with a far larger number being under-insured. Record worldwide adult and child obesity rates are another example of short-term pleasure behavior at the expense of more healthy longer-term goals.

We must keep learning clever tricks to get around the shortcomings of being carbon-based!